Late Thursday night I found myself surprised to see that locally owned and operated Inglewood Films released their latest film, “The Shoebox“.  All of the other Inglewood Films I’ve seen have all been on Amazon Prime so I was even more intrigued as I see it was being released via Tubi, which is a streaming service that offers free movies & TV with fewer ads than traditional TV and with no subscription.  You know me, always down for something new and free.

Finding “The Shoebox” on Tubi was extremely easy, I literally just searched “The Shoebox” and boom, there it was.  First impression of this 26:29 film was WOW, JD Allen (Director) has really stepped his game up.  I’m not sure if it’s because this was based on true events but this, by far, is his best project!  The blend of emotion and humor is timed really well.  My favorite part was the puppy the soldiers found while in Afghanistan, that they tried to put out of its misery, but the pup would not die.  Each time a solider would kill the pup it would flash back to a time in their life when they experienced trauma.  There are so many takeaways with his film and I feel the biggest one for me is the importance of Mental Health general but especially with our Military Veterans.

It wouldn’t be a DreRawka review without some criticism right?  I WANT A LONGER FILM!  Everything was done so well that as soon as I’m hooked the movie is over, which makes me disappointed.  Not in the movie at all but in the knowing that I won’t be able to see a part two (if we get a part two) in years.  So much could be branched off with character development.  I would have really liked if we had a 12 episode series of “The Shoebox”, 26:29 just isn’t enough, especially when its GOOD!  I would highly recommend you watching this film and sharing with a friend.  Again, its a free movie and if you live in Utah its supporting a local group of talented individuals.


Film: “The Shoebox

Where to Watch: Tubi (Streaming App)

Film Rating: TV-MA | Length: 26:29

I had the chance to ask the director of the film JD Allen some questions, enjoy.

(Q) What inspired The Shoebox?

(A) I was pitched an idea by Micah Reel and he told me about his real life event that happened in Afghanistan in 2016. Jake Arvizo set the meeting up with Micah after I agreed to listen to his story. Damarr Jones, Chapell Griggs, Jake Arvizo and myself attended this meeting and he told us how 4 hard core military guys accidentally stepped on some kind of rodent. The thing wouldn’t die after being stepped on numerous times because it was getting buried deeper and deeper in the soft sand after every stomp. These hard core military guys were arguing about who was going to kill it and even came to tears about killing this animal. I was honestly mad at Jake for wasting my time lol. But it hit me that this was so much deeper than just stomping a rodent but bottled up emotions. I changed the rodent into a puppy, we came up with different emotional traumas for every character then The Shoebox was made.


(Q) Being a film maker what are some of the challenges in the film industry?

(A) The main challenge for me as an independent filmmaker is getting investors behind projects.  So I learned that the only way to get people to invest into you is to invest in yourself first. So starting off I was using credit cards, shooting weddings, music videos and anything else I could do to earn money for projects. With no film school I have to work harder to connect with the right people to show the seriousness behind our films.


(Q) What is the culture of Inglewood Films?

(A) InglewoodFilms culture has always been family oriented. The importance of having that family vibe on and off set helps in a major way. It helps because when things get hard, (which they will) you got your film family right there with you in grind mode getting the job done and story told.


(Q) How can someone get involved with Inglewood films?

(A) Usually people hit me up on social media about being apart of what we have going on. I always try to find out how serious they are about it and if they are, I either put them in as cast or crew. Passion is everything to me so I look for that when I’m talking to people about helping us tell these important stories.


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